St. John Bosco began as Summit Academy through the inspiration of a group of women while on retreat in the spring of 1997. In the fall of that same year, Summit Academy opened with six families who enrolled their children. In the span of one year, what began as a single teacher forming 14 students in the basement of a home grew to be 29 students with three teachers. By the beginning of the second school year, thirty students with three teachers were meeting in an older two-room home on the north end of Cottonwood, Idaho. Soon the rental home was purchased by three dedicated benefactors of the school, and was donated to the school. As the Academy continued to grow in number, two additional classrooms and a gymnasium building were constructed. At one point, because of the growing enrollment, the American Legion even allowed the school the use of their building for some of the high school classes.
Initially, the classes began with Kindergarten through fifth grade but as each year passed the school provided for the next year, by adding a sixth grade, then seventh grade, and then an eighth grade. Shortly afterwards, a high school was added, and four years later in 2005 the first class of four seniors graduated from Summit Academy. Since that time Summit Academy has provided formation for students from pre-school through grade 12 and is now an Idaho accredited school.
Prayers were answered through the intercession of St. Joseph, and in the spring of 2002 forty acres of land was donated to the school. Generous donors, both in cash and in labor, provided for the building of the current school structure, which opened its doors in the fall of 2002.
St. John Bosco Academy gives thanks to God for the many who gave so many hours laboring, teaching, and offering up many years of their lives for the sake of providing students in the area with a Catholic education. God will remember your sacrifices. Thank you!
Originally the building housed five classrooms and a computer lab, administration offices, a small kitchen, and gym. Later an upstairs with two large classrooms and a teacher workroom, along with a library, was added. A beautiful chapel, was completed in November of 2014 and has the capacity to hold all students and staff members for morning and afternoon prayer. The school grounds provide the students with large grassy play areas and over 1300 trees and bushes were donated and planted around the perimeter of the property, adding to its outdoor beauty.
In 2017 St. John Bosco received provisional affiliation with the Diocese of Boise. At the Academy’s 20th anniversary celebration the board announced their decision to change the name to better reflect it's Catholicity. After much consideration the board announced the new name of St. John Bosco Academy, which went into effect July 1, 2019
Currently, 85 students from 34 families attend the academy, and a total of 18 part-time and full-time teachers work diligently to help form those students into the Catholic leaders of tomorrow.
St. John Bosco Academy is currently approved and fully accredited by AdvancED, a nationally recognized organization for the accreditation of many schools in the United States and around the world. St. John Bosco Academy's accreditation is valid through June 30, 2021. St. John Bosco Academy is a member school of the National Association of Private Catholic and Independent Schools (NAPCIS). St. John Bosco Academy is currently seeking accreditation with NCEA.
In general, St. John Bosco Academy continues to make improvements in its classical model of education which infuses grammar, logic, and rhetoric throughout the regular coursework for the primary and secondary classes. In the elementary school, we teach a phonics-based language arts program. Students in seventh and eighth grade are introduced to Latin and literary classics. High school classes include scholastic theology and a humanities program which incorporates the Great Books and combines Latin, history and literature.
Thus, we are in need of more classrooms, a science lab and an industrial arts workroom. A new building wing is to be added that would supply room for four high school classrooms along with a technology, woodworking and mechanics shop. The present high school class rooms would then be converted into a science lab and a permanent stage to face the multi-purpose room for drama productions.
Athletics, the Arts, and the Sciences heavily impact the day-to-day life at St. John Bosco Academy. Students may participate in 1A Division II sports per academic year. However, our current facilities are not within 1A Division II specifications.
Likewise, St. John Bosco students engage in two school-wide dramatizations but with no formal staging facilities. Students are also provided ample opportunities to explore the fundamentals and the complexities involving the various sciences. One current limitation is the lack of space necessary for completing larger, long-term science projects.
The estimated cost for this new addition is $250,000. We believe this expansion will help our students understanding of the harmony among faith, science, and the arts. Looking even further ahead, St. John Bosco Academy envisions a gymnasium that would enable St. John Bosco Academy to host visiting teams.
Ultimately, we endeavor to assist families in educating their children so that they may become Catholic ladies and gentlemen and are able to intelligently, kindly and responsibly interact with the needs and concerns of our modern world.